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Trials of academics, who have been charged with "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" for having signed the declaration entitled "We will not be a party to this crime" prepared by the Academics for Peace, continued in İstanbul Çağlayan Courthouse at two different courts today (July 17).
Third hearings of Dr. Lecturer E.B. from Koç University, Teaching Assistant G.M. from Kadir Has University and Research Fellow Canan Özbey discharged from Marmara University; fourth hearings of Dr. Lecturer Nazlı Ökten Gülsoy and Teaching Assistant Zübeyde Gaye Çankaya Esen from Galatasaray University, and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ayten Alkan from Galatasaray University; Research Fellow Didem Çınar Ünal from İstanbul Technical University (İTÜ), Research Fellows Gülay Kılıçaslan and Tuban Kıyan discharged from Yıldız Technical University, and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ahmet Atıl Aşıcı from İTÜ, were held at 32nd Heavy Penal Court today (July 17).
None of the academics other than E.B. and G.M. attended the hearings. The court board approved the demand that Kılıçaslan and Ünal depose where they are as they are abroad.
Announcing the verdict for E.B., G.M. and Canan Özbey, the board ruled that the three academics be sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison as per Anti-Terror Law Article 7/2, and that the sentences be deferred.
Third hearing of Dr. Lecturer Emine Fişek from Boğaziçi University couldn’t be held as Fişek’s lawyer Meriç Eyüboğlu did have an excuse.
On January 10, 2016, 1,128 academics published a declaration entitled "We will not be party to this crime" on behalf of the Academics for Peace initiative. With the participation of further academics, the number of academics who have signed the declaration has reached 2,212.
With the indictment issued by the Prosecutor İsmet Bozkurt, lawsuits were filed against the academics on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" as per the Article No. 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law No. 3713.
As of June 26, 2018, 256 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017. 16 of these academics were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison and all of the sentences were suspended, except for those of Prof. Dr. Zübeyde Füsun Üstel from Galatasaray University and Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı from Marmara University.
The penalty of Prof. Dr. Üstel was not deferred on the grounds that "she did not demand deferment of the announcement of the verdict and that she did not make a statement of penitence." As for the penalty of Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı, it was not deferred on the ground that "no opinion as to her avoidance of committing offense has emerged considering her personality which does not express any remorse."
On March 10, 2016, the Academics for Peace made a statement for press and shared with the public what they had been going through since the declaration "We will not be a party to this crime" was published. The academics Dr. Lecturer Esra Mungan, Dr. Lecturer Muzaffer Kaya, Assoc. Prof. Dr Kıvanç Ersoy (March 15, 2016) and Dr. Lecturer Meral Camcı (March 31, 2016), who read out the above-mentioned statement for press, were arrested on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" as per the Article No. 7/2 of the Turkish Anti-Terror Law. They were released on April 2016. Upon the request of the Prosecutor's Office, the Ministry of Justice granted a permission of trial as per the Article No. 301 of the Turkish Penal Code No. 301 on charges of "insulting the Turkish Nation, the State of the Republic of Turkey and the institutions and organs of the government."
The lawsuits still continue. (TP/TK)
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